Bedford County TN Biographies


Though now to some extent retired from business activities, Thompson Hiles, a prominent citizen of Rome, yet retains enough active interests to require his presence in his office every day. Though Mr. Hiles has been identified with Northwest Georgia for a generation, he is a native of Tennessee, born in Shelbyville, January 8, 1841; son of Joseph Hiles, a farmer, born in Virginia, moved to Tennessee, and married Abilene Anthony, a native of Shelbyville. Joseph Hiles wife, Abilene Anthony, was probably also descended from a Virginia family, for so far as is known, the Southern Anthony family came from that State about the Revolutionary period.

Captain Hiles was educated in the Lynchburg, Tennessee, Academy and the University located at Shelbyville; and was just reaching manhood on the outbreak, of the War between the States. He became a soldier in the Seventeenth Tennessee Regiment, attached first to the Army of Northern Virginia, and later to the Western Armies. He served with the rank of Brevet-Captain and participated in the desperate struggles of Chickamauga, Perryville (Kentucky), Drewry's Bluff (Virginia), and the siege of Petersburg. He served through the whole war with fidelity and with credit, and is now the holder of a Confederate Medal of Honor. In 1866, Captain Hiles engaged in the dry goods business at Summerville, Georgia. A prudent, steady going, capable man, his affairs prospered; and in 1860 he moved to Rome and established the wholesale dry goods business known as the Thompson Hiles Company, which, after doing a large and prosperous business for years, he sold out in 1890. He had, however, always retained an interest at Summerville, and the firm of Thompson Hiles and Company, yet doing a large business in that town, is one of the oldest and strongest firms of the section. He also retains an interest in the Chattooga County Bank, of Summerville, in which he is a director. He has been for thirty years unbrokenly a director in the First National Bank of Rome and is recognized as one of the soundest and safest financiers of his section.

Captain Hiles has served as a member of the City Council, and one term as Mayor of the city. He is active in the work of the Methodist Church, of which he is a steward; and is affiliated with the various Masonic lodges, also with Rome Commandery No. 8 of the Knights Templar.

Captain Hiles has been twice married; first, in 1868, to Elizabeth Sturdivant, of Summerville, Georgia, a daughter of James D. and Margaret (McClure) Sturdivant. His second wife was Clalie McWilliams, of Rome, daughter of O. H. and Julia (Pope) McWilliams. Of his marriages there have been six children born. The living children of the first marriage are Mrs. Harper Hamilton; Gordon Hiles, of Atlanta; and Mrs. J. R. Moorman. The living child of the second marriage is Thompson Hiles, Junior.

Captain Hiles political sympathies have always been with the Democratic party. Ho believes that the broadening of our educational facilities is the primary need of Georgia, and he would like to see our people concentrate their energies in that direction in order that our children and our children's children may have advantages which have been denied to us, and which will qualify them to do larger things than we have been able to do.

Captain Hiles has nearly reached the Biblical three score and ten. He has served his country faithfully and well, both in war and peace; and by his ability, his industry and his economy he has accumulated a competency and enjoys the esteem of the community in which more than forty years of his life have been spent. Bernard Suttler.

Source: Men of mark in Georgia: a complete and elaborate history of the ..., Volume 6 By William J. Northen (1835-1913)

NOTES: Died 18 Sep 1913 in Rome GA - buried at Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Floyd Co GA
MILITARY: Captain - Company: A, 17th Tennessee
Enlisted May 16, 1861. Wounded severely at Perryville Oct. 8, 1862.
Captured in front of Petersburg, VA June 17, 1864.
Sent to Elmira, N.Y. Took Oath of Allegiance at Knoxville, TN March 23, 1865.
Listed place of residence as Bedford Co. TN.

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